Loowit Brewing to expand, offer food service

Thomas Poffenroth and Devon Bray
Brewers Thomas Poffenroth, left, and Devon Bray are the co-owners of Downtown Vancouver’s Loowit Brewing Company.

Loowit Brewing Company is planning to transform its downtown Vancouver tasting room into a full-service public house later this year.

On Thursday, the company announced it had secured funding to significantly expand its 507 Columbia St. location, which opened in 2012.

The 1,300-square-foot expansion, which has been in the works for a number of years, will include the addition of a kitchen (to begin offering food service by late summer) and patio, more seating indoors and out, and an increase of Loowit’s production capabilities and lineup of beer taps.

“We are essentially doubling our retail footprint in our existing location,” said Devon Bray, co-owner of Loowit Brewing. “The addition of a pub to our space will give us a great platform to share our love of local beer and engage the community even more, all while we continue to produce the excellent beer people know and expect from the Loowit brand.”

With the expansion, Bray said the company’s production capabilities will reach new heights.

“Our production capacity will see a 60 percent increase with the addition of more fermentation and cellar space,” he said. “We brewed just over 2,000 barrels, equivalent to about 62,000 gallons or nearly 500,000 pints, of beer in 2016 and are projecting 2017 production to increase, approaching near the 3,000 barrel mark.”

Joining the Loowit team to oversee the new kitchen and to help develop the menu is Ryan Dekarske. His culinary experience includes time spent at downtown Vancouver’s The Grocery and McMenamins on the Columbia.

“We’ve definitely come a long ways from our extremely humble beginnings,” said Bray, when asked about Loowit’s growth over the years. “Looking back at how we started, I’m amazed at how far we’ve come and how successful we’ve been. [Co-owner] Tom (Poffenroth) and I were just two guys that wanted to make beer and have fun. It’s been great to see the business grow in to so much more.

“I think we can all agree that it’s about time Loowit has some great food to serve alongside all of that great beer we’ve become known for,” he added.

The expansion project is expected to be complete in August.